It’s no secret that every team begins the NHL season with the goal of winning the Stanley Cup.
It is also no secret that some teams simply are not ready to accomplish that goal.
Realistically speaking, for every team that appears poised for a strong playoff run, there is a team in rebuilding mode, trying to work its way back to contender status as quickly as possible.
For these struggling franchises, success is not measured by hoisting a Stanley Cup or even by making the playoffs.
Instead, success comes from improving upon last year’s record and staying competitive in their division races, even if a playoff appearance is not the end result.
Here are five teams whose seasons will be successes if they finish fourth or better in their respective divisions.